The local Salvation Army helped improve many families’ Christmas celebrations this holiday season.
But they couldn’t have done so without the help of the community, said Capt. Chris Powell, who heads up the Salvation Army in Brunswick alongside his wife Billie.
The Salvation Army’s most visible fundraising campaign, the Red Kettle campaign, exceeded its goal this year in the Golden Isles.
Powell aimed to raise about $56,000. The campaign raised, in total, $58,579 this year.
“We had at least a five percent increase in volunteers this year on the bells, which was really good,” Powell said. “… I was able to keep the majority of our stands manned this year between volunteers and our paid bell ringers. That’s what contributed to us being able to make goal this year.”
Most of the Salvation Army’s budget is donor-driven, Powell said, and the annual budget includes money raised by the Red Kettle campaign. The money raised is used for social service programs, grants, shelter operations, church programs and more.
“We want to thank not only Glynn but also McIntosh County for the support that we get here,” Powell said.
The Salvation Army served 229 local children, called “angels,” through the annual Angel Tree giving campaign this year, through which community members could sponsor children and supply them with the Christmas gifts on their list.
The Salvation Army also received great response this year to its call for end-of-year donations to the food pantry.
An item the pantry continues to need, though, is meat, Powell said.
“That’s usually the one piece that gets left out,” he said, noting that many tend to donate canned vegetables and other items but forget about the need for canned meats.
But without the community’s support, Powell said, the Salvation Army could not operate as successfully as it did this past year.
“We’d like to thank all the individuals and groups that came out and volunteered at the Red Kettle locations and the Angel Tree,” Powell said. “We would like to thank the community that came alongside of us and purchased gifts for children in the Angel Tree program, to give them a Christmas.”
And Powell said many local partners helped provided turkeys for a Christmas meal at the Salvation Army shelter for both shelter residents and some community members.
“We just want to thank the community as a whole for supporting us and the work that we do here in the community for those in need,” he said.
The Salvation Army also continues to have volunteer opportunities available for those who are interested. Those opportunities include helping stock the food pantry and working at the Salvation Army’s shelter and Family Store.
Those interested can call 912-265-9381.
“We always have plenty of time for volunteers,” Powell said.